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Watch! Tribute to 50 Years of Bond…

It’s no secret that I am a massive James Bond fan. After all, Skyfall was one of my favourite movies of 2012. So when I found this tribute to fifty years of the secret agent – set to Adele’s wonderful Oscar-winning theme song – I had to share it. Check it out below and let me know what you think. Enjoy!

John Barry, RIP

I had hoped to end James Bond January as a celebration of one of the most iconic film franchises ever produced. It as a fantastically organised event – thanks to the legend that is Paul Thain over at Paragraph Film Reviews. Through the month, we had some surprising good news. Despite the shadow that loomed over MGM, the next Bond film (Bond 23, as it is known) would enter production. It would be released for the film’s fiftieth anniversary, would see Daniel Craig return and would be directed by Oscar-winner Sam Mendes. That was good news, and it really contributed to the atmosphere of the month.

1933-2011

Unfortunately, as the month came to a close, there was bad news. It’s tragic to end the month with the passing of John Barry. Barry had a tremendous career that others can do far more justice to than I would dare attempt. A legendary composer, his work is instantly recognisable – even if you don’t know you’re listening to it. It’s rare for a composer to exude pure and refined class and sophistication, while still remaining truly accessible. Barry did that. He won an Oscar for his work on Born Free, a soundtrack that I can sing along with even though I have never seen the film. I imagine there are more than a few readers who can say the same thing.

There are those who will sum up his career more eloquently than this truncated blog post, but he was a master. He worked on twelve of the Bond films, however his work was so iconic that the only major departure from his style occurred with GoldenEye (and this was promptly corrected for Tomorrow Never Dies). Perhaps his most iconic Bond theme is for Goldfinger. There’s a video below embedded of Barry conducting an instrumental rendition.

However, my own personal favourite John Barry theme comes from You Only Live Twice:

And I have a soft spot for Diamonds Are Forever, where he famously coaxed Shirley Bassey to give it lots and then some.

Rest in peace.

Non-Review Review: Austin Powers – The Spy Who Shagged Me

This post is part of James Bond January, being organised by the wonderful Paragraph Films. I will have reviews of all twenty-two official Bond films going on-line over the next month, and a treat or two every once in a while.

I have to admit that I’m quite fond of Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. Perhaps it’s the way that the film vindicated its direct predecessor – although Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery did very well on video, the sequel made more money at the box office in its opening weekend than the original film did during its entire theatrical run. Sure, watching the film one can spot the cracks developing which would completely envelop the franchise when the third film, Austin Powers:  Goldmember, was released. However, while it’s probably not quite as good as the original, it’s still a damn entertaining film.

Time to put the franchise to bed...

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